Apparently a lot of people don’t know that Latinx people present in all shapes, sizes, and skin tones: Last Monday, Dominican singer Amara La Negra handily corrected a producer on Love & Hip-Hop: Miami after he suggested her Afro stops her from being “elegant and breathtaking.” (She also had to educate him on Afro-Latinidad as whole, which is super unfortunate because the dude himself is Latino.)
Reader, if you can believe it, things got worse from there. Just a few days later, various people started accusing Amara on Twitter of wearing blackface.
Variations on this terrible rumor included that it looks like Amara receives melanin injections or that she spray tans to appear darker-skinned than she really is; some have suggested it’s her light eye color that makes people suspicious of her skin tone (ooookay), or that her facial features are too European for Amara to come across as authentically black. It seems people are all too ready to find a reason to discredit Amara as a black woman, or a Latina woman, or both.
Amara responded to the rumors on Instagram, by posting a video of herself as a child. She writes: “Well Yea I guess I was Born in a ‘Black Face Body!’”
The rumors also came up in an interview Amara did with the Shade Room. Host Trick Daddy said, “I’ve been asked this. Like, who is that fake Spanish girl?” Amara responded with, “It’s really important to me, being on this show to educate and inform people about Afro-Latinos.”
It is truly appalling that an Afro-Latina has to put up with this in 2018. To be a woman is to be questioned about your body and your choices at every turn; this is true even more so for black women and women of color. And while Amara continues to handle herself grace and self-possession, the onus shouldn’t be on her to change the conversation. We can and should do better than this. In the mean time, I’m just happy this girl got a multi-album record deal, hell yeah.